PDP Tells BJP It Wants Kashmiri Militants To Return Via Nepal

22 February 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arun Joshi

Jammu: The PDP had thrown something more than the known contentious issues in the ring while negotiating with the BJP over government formation - It wanted legitimisation of the Nepal route for the return of militants from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoK) under the rehabilitation policy. The Indian authorities do not recognise Nepal as the legitimised route for the return of militants. The four routes selected for such returnees are: Wagah-Attari border (Punjab), Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi), Salamabad and Chakan-Da Bagh cross-LoC routes (Jammu and Kashmir). The policy had suffered a major roadblock since Pakistan never wanted the militants to return to Jammu and Kashmir via these identified routes for that would have established its complicity and role it had played in training and arming militants from Kashmir who travelled to Pakistan in 1990s. As per official estimates, there are 3,000 such militants across the border. The proposal was first mooted in May 2006 at the conclusion of the second Round Table Conference on Kashmir in Srinagar and the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, had advanced it. The policy was taken up officially in 2009-2010 during the Omar Abdullah government in the state. The state government had taken it up with the MHA and they had agreed to it. During its negotiations with the BJP on government formation, the PDP upped the ante on the route for returnees. The Home Ministry has now convened a meeting to decide as to what should be done with the returnees who come from the Nepal route with their wives and children. Such returnees for all practical purposes are not the citizens of India and cannot be called state subjects. Moreover, their coming from the Nepal route is in violation of the foreign rules. Director General of Police K Rajendra said the Home Ministry might want to have its own view on the vexed issue. The state Home Ministry has expressed concerns about some mischievous elements trying to rebrand themselves as militants and activate sleeper cells. This is a ticklish situation for the state and has wider ramifications on national security.